As a new NBA season begins, I was once again left without a team to cheer on. When I was younger, probably around 10 or 11, i loved Shaquille O'Neal and "Penny" Hardaway, and was a big Orlando Magic fan. Shaq is still my all-time favorite NBA player, so I followed him to the Los Angeles Lakers. Then, I just lost my interest in the NBA. I am not really sure why, but i went from watching every Laker game that was televised in San Diego, to just not watching the sport at all. I basically turned my back on the NBA.
Last season was the first time in a number of years that I actually watched the NBA. I watched a few regular season games, and I watched three games in their entirety during the NBA finals. I was slowly gaining back interest in pro basketball. There was just one problem, I had no team to cheer on. Sure, I could take the easy road and become a Laker fan, like all the other fairweather fans that dwell in this soft sports town. However, doing whats popular was never been what Kevin Charity does. When all the kids in school were jamming to hip-hop, I had my hard rock mix tapes. Besides, if there's one thing that I can't stand about professional sports, it's bandwagon fans. I support my Chargers and Padres, no matter what. Even when times are bad, you have to keep fighting, that's what I believe. Jumping on the Lakers bandwagon isn't something I wanted to do, let all the other idiots have them. No baby, I've jumped on the Clippers train. I am now a member of Clipper Nation.
Sure, I am going to be laughed at. This team has had just two winning seasons since moving to Los Angeles in 1984. Yes, they did leave my hometown in 1984, but I wasn't born until a year later, so the Clips are off the hook in that aspect. Mention the word Clipper to a sports fan and you hear all kinds of unflattering adjectives: joke, losers, pathetic, sad. The list goes on. However, maybe the tide will change with the passion I will bring to the table. Granted, I am a San Diego sports fan, and all my teams have been lousy historically, but somethings gotta give, right?
Jumping on the Clippers bandwagon will probably lead to sleepless nights, indigestion, and combine their futility with that of my other teams, I will probably end up in an early grave. However, this Clippers team has some great talent, led by Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon. Sure, they lost to Portland tonight, but the season is young. Who the hell wants to jump on the Heat or Celtics train, when the Clippers are just 100 miles up the road. Any pussy can call themselves a Miami Heat, or a Los Angeles Lakers fan, however it takes a man with nuts the size of grapefruits, i.e. me, to openly pledge their allegiance to Clipper Nation. I will chronicle my new found allegiance throughout the year on this blog. I look forward to learning about the great Clippers of the past, folks like World B. Free, Terry Cummings, Benoit Benjamin, and the great Loy Vaught.
If you are an NBA refugee like me, consider hopping on the Clipper ship. It sets sail tonight. Join me, won't you?